Ask a Romanian // July 16

Over the next few months Owlspotting will run a (hopefully) weekly feature where we’ll answer questions about Romania and Romanians. Sometimes the answers will be provided by me, sometimes by other Romanians, who will be introduced at the appropriate time.

Q: Do Romanians drink vodka tonic?

A: They try to do, and sometimes they are succesful. A good rule of thumb is to order the drink in a place that employs a bartender that does more than pour beer. Otherwise, the waitress will panic and pretend to forget about your drink for a few minutes. Then she’ll finally work up the courage to ask: “Ahm, sorry sir, how do you make that?”

And you’ll answer: “Well, pretty much like you make gin tonic. Pour vodka and then pour tonic.”

“Oh, great!” she’ll say happily.

Then she’ll panic again and ask how much vodka goes in a vodka tonic. Even with that question cleared up she will still have doubts. Last night for example, the waitress eventually brought me a glass with some vodka in it and a small bottle of tonic on the side. “Here,” she said. “You do it.”

Truth is that making it yourself might be the safest way to get the drink you want.

>>> Do you have a question? Ask a Romanian! Leave your questions in the comments section.

6 Responses to “Ask a Romanian // July 16”

  1. Two questions, actually:

    1) How is medical coverage set up in Romania?

    2) What bits of American pop culture (TV shows, musicians) are surprisingly popular — if any?

  2. How do your females dress? 🙂

  3. ROFLMFAO. And what establishment was that? A name might be helpful to both those would now love to show up to such a place and the rest of us who would like to avoid it.

  4. Depending on how you define “surprisingly popular”, I’d say:
    – The 4th of July: every year we are reminded by all Romanian media channels that the US celebrates its independence and every year we send all Americans and their president warm greetings and thoughts of eternal friendship.
    – Valentine’s Day: we would have our own “Lovers’ Day” ten days later, but February 14th has become widely popular.
    – Ghetto hip-hop: a friend of mine has a son, who listens to Romanian hip hop bands singing about Romanian ghetto life. Now, that same friend has been in the States and has returned with a totally new take on the concept of “ghetto”… but I guess the bad-boy-ghetto-gangsta-man-look appeals to the Romanian crowd too.
    Everything else that comes to my mind is shifting away even more from your question of “pop culture” and moves toward other cultural bits that we have imported from the US. But that’s a slightly different story 🙂

  5. you can run but you cant hide Says:

    are you stupid?

  6. I have the exact same problem when ordering a vodka tonic. The typical romanian bar tender is not familiar with mixed drinks of any sort. I’ve gotten so used to it that I just tell them exactly what to put in it. If I say “give me a vodka tonic with vodka, tonic, lemon, and ice” I usually stand a pretty good chance of recieving 3 of the four requested items on the first try.

    Asta e

Leave a Reply